Congratulations! One of the greatest privileges you have as a parent is to help your child come to faith in Christ. Like many parents, you may not quite know how or when to approach one of the most exciting yet intimidating moments of parenthood. Some worry that they won’t explain salvation properly. They might be tempted to just “leave it to the professionals” by relying on people at church or ministry events. That’s understandable, but God has given you the most important and influential role when it comes to leading your child to Christ. This guide is designed to help you feel more comfortable about the process when that time comes.
Step One: Lay a foundation
Your son or daughter grows in his or her understanding of God by developing a foundation; hearing stories from the Bible, learning scriptures, singing about Jesus and so forth. Your child also learns by experiencing life in your home; watching your example, feeling your love and learning right from wrong. We see this in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 that says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Step Two: Discern readiness
Do your best to discern when your child is mature enough to put the pieces together. Avoid the temptation to push for a decision before he or she is ready to truly grasp the gospel. Your child may intellectually understand before being socially or spiritually ready. Young children are usually bonded to their parents in such a way that they want to please and do not have a full sense of a separate self. A child needs to understand that this is a personal decision that will impact the entirety of their lives and not just an opportunity to repeat rote answers.
Step Three: Ask questions
If you feel your child might be ready, ask a few questions to help gauge his or her level of understanding. For example, read Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Then ask questions like, “What is sin?” “How does your sin affect your relationship to God?” How they respond can help you sense when your child is ready to understand two important concepts:
JESUS AS SAVIOR: The need for forgiveness and cleansing from sin which was made possible through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross
JESUS AS LORD: The need to submit to God as “the boss” by making Jesus Christ the Lord or “king” of one’s life. Be sure that they understand that from this day forward, Jesus will be in charge.
Step Four: Guide your child in prayer for salvation
Romans 10 says, “…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” If you sense your child has a basic understanding of what sin is as well as what it means to accept God’s gift of salvation and His Lordship, then you can guide him or her to pray along those lines. Instead of quoting specific words for your child to repeat, it’s best to prompt using his or her own words.
If after reading through this guide and viewing the Prepare to Lead Your Child to Christ video you would like additional assistance, feel free to request an appointment for you and your child to meet with a pastor by calling the church office. If your child has become a believer, please mail us the My Child’s Faith Decision card to receive the free Salvation and Baptism kit. The My Faith Decision card can be used as a keepsake of this special day to store in your child’s My Faith Box.
The next step on the Faith Path is Prayer, recommended at age six. We will offer a free Prayer kit to guide you. Request the Prayer kit by e-mailing our Next Generation pastor: Michael Beene ([email protected]).